Reaching New Heights

It’s like climbing a mountain.

You hike and hike and you reach a point and you look down and there’s the valley spread below you and you think, “Wow, I’m high.” And then you hike some more and you hike and hike and you reach a rocky lookout point and you look down and you go, “Whoa…. This is high.” And you look down on your first lookout and you smile to yourself and say, “And I thought that was high…” And then you look up the trail and wonder what the height is like up there, what the view will be, how the vista will spread and what it will feel like.

It’s like climbing a mountain, only the scenery isn’t as good.

I have reached the point where I can look back and my younger self and think, “Ha, I thought that was jaded?” Back then I was just sick of dating a guy once or twice with no progress. Now I feel  revolted by the idea of going on another date. How do people sustain this kind of pace perpetually?

I don’t want to hear about one more perfect guy. I don’t want to hope one more time that this might be the one. I don’t want to dress up. I don’t want to wait neatly in my room for the doorbell. I don’t want to smile and be pleasant and go to another lounge and order another water and deal with another lemon. I don’t want to explain my field. I don’t want to describe my ideal future. I don’t want to answer more awkward standard dating questions while pretending that they’re not awkward and standard, that they’re normal things for total strangers meeting for the first time to ask each other. I don’t want a single other waitress to throw me a sympathetic smile ever again forever.   I don’t want to listen to one more out-of-towner who professes to hate the tri-state area go on about how much he loves his tri-state area yeshiva which means that he’s going to want to spend the rest of his life in the tri-state area complaining about how much he hates it here. I don’t want to talk about my siblings or my job. I don’t want to spend an evening trying to figure out what to ask a learning guy about himself after he answers “nothing” or “basketball” to “what do you do for fun?” I don’t want to see another stranger’s GPS with my address in it. I don’t want to be at the mercy of another maniac’s driving. I don’t want to wonder if I should get out of the car right away or not when he pulls up in front of my house. I don’t want to feel his eyes on my back as I open the door to my house. And I don’t want to suddenly find myself very tired and very dressed and two flights down from my bed.

I don’t want to go out.

I don’t don’t don’t want to go out.

And I’m only 23. I wonder what new heights of jadedness await up there?

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46 thoughts on “Reaching New Heights

  1. Sounds more like a new low than a new high… :(
    (Incidentally the view isn’t any better if the pace is less intense, but the time elapsed is equally protracted.)

  2. SOML. in chasidishe seforim they say that when you notice the most your station in life is when you jump from one level to another. its like you were on a plateau, and only when you travel to a higher plateau do you notice the level you just came from.

  3. Hey,
    Oh I hear you. It is so painful. And you’re only 23. I feel like you’ve read my mind in this post! But here I am, just turned 30, and *finally* met the man I’ve been searching for. Ppl used to say, it’s worth the wait once you find him. I believe you have to keep on truckin’, with the emuna that it WILL happen when the time is right. My situation is proof. I now have to go to the Jerusalem Rabbinate to “prove my singleness”. No joke. I need a ‘teudat revakut’.
    All I want to do is bring in every painful date (50+)I went on and have them recount our date so that the Rabbinate will have to listen and listen and listen… and then *finally* realize that yes I was single for so long, it sucked, and now I’m finally getting married.
    Be discerning, listen to yourself and if the 1st phone convo sucks, don’t torture yourself by going out w/ the guy. No guy is ‘perfect’!

  4. I get jaded at times, but then again there’s what I want/how I figured out how my life would turn out and then there’s what Hashem wants and reality (instead of your dream life*). So far Hashem’s done a lot and I’ve learned (at times the hard way) that you have to go with Hashem’s will/plan, there’s no one way of doing things (there’s no age at which you “Must” graduate, “Must” meet your shidduch, etc), no such thing as a “normal life”, there’s your life and how it’s supposed to turn out. You need emunah and patience to deal with the unpleasant things that happen.

  5. All this talk of Hashem’s will and Emunah is founded on the premise that a 23 year old college-girl wants to get married.

    Bad4, watching your blog has made it clear to me that you want to build a life and figure out where a man and kids will fit into it before you actually acquire them. That you date because it is the norm in your community to do so, but that you regard it as a bitul zman that interferes with you readying yourself for being in the world. That left to your own devices you’d study hard, work hard, and hit the Ice Cream Parlors hard for relaxation. And that when your career is budding and your degree under your belt, and all that basic infrastructure of life attended to – then if a guy shows up who has his head on half-straight, you might be willing to see where he fits in your life. I’m guessing he’ll be a college educated working boy who will not be shattered by the supernal light of your intellect.

    But now, you and the boy both show up to the date looking for reasons to rreject – as ProfK once noted – because neither of you are ready. Understandable that you are sick of it.

  6. I’m so sorry. I know what you mean. When I look back to how old and alienated I felt when I was your age, living in Israel, I can’t believe it. And now it’s almost a decade later.

  7. Rich, how do you know what is going on in bad 4′s head? Your amateur psychology is offensive.
    Dating for a long time is emotionally tough. Without a doubt it can bring many closer to Hashem.
    The snake was cursed by being able to eat the dust of the earth. The snake was given all his needs in abundance so why was it a curse? It was once told to me that the snake did not need to cry out to Hashem for anything and that was the curse.
    Speaking to Hashem is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world. Maybe that is why so many people experience sorrow in this world so that they can connect to their creater in a stronger and more meaningful way. Then again maybe not.

  8. I trust bad4 will tell me if she’s offended.

    But to answer your question, it’s because in various posts she has said as much – except perhaps what kind of guy she hopes to wind up with.

  9. As to Hashem’s will – it is perhaps good to remember that things happen in G-d’s time not ours, but also that He does not throw at us anything we can’t handle.

  10. Bad4, thanks for speaking my mind for me (mostly).

    What’s worse than going out with a lot of people and nothing working out is finally meeting that person who really, REALLY excites you and then, after a couple of dates, they pull an abrupt about-face and totally and unexpectedly dump you, while the “beyond a reasonable doubt” evidence points to someone who hates/dislikes you and is spreading lies about you, which your date and her/his mother hear and then that parent forbids your date from seeing you again. (Of course your date just gives a canned answer saying it just doesn’t feel right.) THAT is what kills me and drains my energy from dating.

    It sucks.

  11. You know how there’s some saying about how the good things in life don’t come easy?

    Sure it sucks. Sometimes you just want to grab the next male with a pulse and be done with it already.

    My sister dated the tri-state area. By the time my brother-in-law showed up, she was beyond the point you’re at now. She didn’t enjoy dating at all. Now? Who remembers except a cracked bedroom door that was slammed in frustration? Certainly not her 5th child.

    Soon, there’ll be a new, sucky pain in the keester that’ll have to be dealt with. See you on the other side.

  12. While it’s possible b4s isn’t serious about dating (for marriage) I don’t believe that to be the case. I had a relationship in September and another one in October, both didn’t work and I was bitter for around a month, I didn’t want know that shadchanim, girls, dating, etc existed but then again if everything in life came easy we wouldn’t value it. You can only deal with so much rejection, months w/out a date, bad dates, incompotent shadchanim, etc before you become jaded and cynical, the thing is you’ve got to realize that real life isn’t like a TV show where all the problems are neatly solved in an hour (minus 18 minutes for commercials).

  13. This post is quite a revelation for me. And no, I don’t mean the contents of the post, which I can’t relate to anyhow because I’m a guy who just turned 21, so I’ve never been on a date in my life. I mean the fact that you’re only 23. I’ve been reading this blog for a while, and not having seen your age mentioned in any post until now, I assumed you were at LEAST approaching 30, and more likely pushing 35. If you’re not really ready to get married, why even strain yourself by dating? Just tell all the well meaning (and not so well meaning) yentas to shut up, and that you’ll get back to them when you’re ready. Ah, if only it were that easy…

  14. I think most people who date can relate to this!! Thanks for posting what all of us are feeling, you said it quite nicely.

    Everything in life has ups and downs. I personally find that it’s just when I hit the lowest point, that is so low that I didn’t even know I could be that low, I somehow find the strength and courage to keep going and not give up. That’s not to say I don’t end up back there in the “I just can’t take this anymore” stage, but after I hit that point again, there is always a point of renewed strength and motivation that follows. Negative emotions are often good motivators to push us to DO something that we wouldn’t have done before and the best thing is to look inside yourself to try to find where you can go from here.

  15. You know, rich makes a good point. Not necessarily accurate. But good nevertheless. Theres that dating book out there that does something along the lines of helping you determine whats holding you back from marriage… I forgot what its called. In any case, theres a story in there of a guy in his 40s or 50s who was a top notch lawyer w/ a big house, fancy car, big macher in the community…. and basically the lady who wrote the book told him: ” You’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle except the wife. You expect her to just come in, fill the piece, and everythign will be great. But most people don’t want to be your puzzle piece. You need to be ready to give up ALL your puzzle pieces if that’s what it takes.”

    In any case, we all need to keep in mind that our spouse when we find them, are not another piece in our “puzzle.” They are separate from the puzzle.

    I have given up on my puzzle. I maybe gave up on too much even, and almost got engaged to the wrong person.

    I hope we all find our proper bashert at the right time, with the minimal amount of pain possible on the road there.

  16. Wow, that was a pretty depressing post. I understand how frustrating it can get. I haven’t been dating so long and I’ve already had some of the same feelings. What I try to do is to have fun on every date even if I know right away I don’t like her. That may mean breaking some of the dating rules and talking about things you don’t normally talk about on a date but it’s better than being miserable and bored.

    Lawschooldrunk, I know how you feel. I went out with a girl who I really liked for more than just a couple of dates. On one date she acted real quiet and she wouldn’t say what was bothering her (there’s more to this part of the story that I shouldn’t post online). After the date she sent a message through the shaddchan (we had stopped using the shaddchan earlier) that she didn’t have a good time and didn’t want to go out again. Now, after every date I go on that doesn’t work out I think, “why do I have to go through all this trouble dating girls who are not good matches for me when I already found a girl who seems so right for me?”.

    It does suck and probably will until you meet the right person and then it’s happily ever after, right?

    Maybe we need

  17. Oy, I am so sorry to hear that. It must be hard dealing with that all the time. You should find your proper dude in the proper time and have the strength to put up with it till he shows up.

  18. I hear you. I have just turned 24, and am perfectly sure by now that dating is one of the least pleasurable activities invented by the human race. Which is why I don’t do much of it.

    Really, as tiresome as the background checks are, I do my best to define to myself exactly what I can live with and what I can’t and ask specific questions that will enable me, 9 times out 10, to be sure of incompatibility without the need of a date. This way at least I get to waste fewer evenings, with all the high expectations before, intense boredom during, and snappy irritation after the date.

    For me, at least, this is the best survival technique. I have friends about my age who’ve already gone out with 130 (!) guys. The mere thought of it makes me sick. I would rather hold many conversations with ‘friends of’ than turn dating into my main leisure activity…

  19. Bad4, thanx for writing so eloquently what my 2 shidduch-age children can’t seem to express when they announce they are “taking a vacation from dating.”

  20. I would not suggest it to everyone, but in your case, perhaps you should try a little different approach. Don’t go on any dates for now. Pray to Hashem, and He can arrange your zivug other ways. For you, perhaps, relying on the Sar HaMashkim to remember you is just causing you to spend more time in the dungeon.

  21. BZ post # 18 and everyone else- the book is called ”Dating Secrets” or ”Shidduch Secrets” depending on the year it was published. The original publishing date is about 2006. I have started reading the book recently, and I have found it very practical and on Target. The authors suggest reading each chapter in order even if you feel the topic doesn’t apply to you. The reason is because the first glance may be different from what you expected. Here is a link to purchase the book online:

    http://www.artscroll.com/Products/DASH.htmlShidduch Secrets
    The ultimate guide to finding a spouse (formerly titled Dating Secrets)
    By Leah Jacobs (Author) Shaindy Marks (Translator)
    List Price: $22.99

  22. On a more personal note, I am deeply touched by your post today. I am not that much younger, and I can understand where you are coming from. However, I have had the AUDACITY to wait to date until close to 22 years of age!
    I had plenty of pressure to date even from my parents. My mother was afraid I would miss my Bashert. I spoke to a Rav, and he agreed with my reasoning. I am NOT at all sorry that I waited that long to date.

    This is one of the problems with our Shidduch system, and I don’t profess to have the ONE N’ DONE SOLUTION.
    As others have commented- every challenge is definitely an opportunity to grow and change, and become closer to G-d.
    I heard from a Rav that one of the reasons for Marriage is so that we comprehend deep feelings of Love and respect and transfer those feelings over to G-d.
    Also, there are four levels of pleasure in this world-The Third level includes any human relationships and The Highest being your relationship with G-d. Unless you experience true Closeness with G-d-One will never experience the Joy of Knowing Hashem.
    I don’t write this to implicate that I am a Rebbitzen or Saint- I am talking from my heart.

  23. My words of chizuk to you (and to myself): I have had many friends in the same situation who have found themselves happily engaged about 3 weeks after their OFFICIAL onset of dating jadedness (and I’m not talking about miserably single 19 year olds).

  24. Incidentally (and rather ironically) this ‘jadedness’ phenomena probably contributes to the apparent dearth (at least in my experience) of available ‘older’ girls of 23 years of age or so, despite the best efforts of NASI. I (closing in on 24 yrs, and *preferring* a girl close to my age) hear about lots of 19 and 20 year olds, a smattering of 21 year olds, and then hardly anything until the 25/26 year old bracket (from those who mistake me for 27, or somesuch).

  25. I know Bad4, and she does want to get married, to the right person. She’s unique and therefore she will have to search a little more than someone more typical. She is only 23 for heaven’s sakes.

    Congratulations, Bad4, on yet another post with very predictable comments.

  26. Any Rabbis out there? What does the mishnah mean when it says that ” Shemonah Esrei La Chuppah”? What is the tranlation of this verse, and how do we understand it?

  27. I am relatively new to this blog and the blogging world in general, but I have to say Bad4, you have this knack for knowing which buttons to push on people. I often read your posts wondering if you’re actually going through the things you write or are just doing it to see other people’s reactions. This is one of those times. I don’t know if you’re actually fed up, or you just simply know how to come up with a piece of writing that can so accurately pinpoint your readers’ thoughts. Either way, I commend you on your abilities.

  28. Rich, I have strongly disagree with you. A husband is not a “puzzle piece” that “fits into your life”. Bad4′s future husband will get, and deservers, her 100% commitment to him and building a life together with him. Once she meets him, that should be her top priority. Not see if he “fits in” between school and grad work and social life.

  29. While this is indeed a depressing post, I think Bad4 has quite eloquently captured the sentiments of most every jaded dater out there. Despite all the disappointments along the way, giving up is still the worse thing that anyone can do – and only enhances the negativity of the situation. If you go on a date without cheering yourself up first (and I’ve had to do this a few times), you could easily scare off someone who would otherwise be interested in you (chas v’shalom that it should happen with ‘the one’). I’m a big fan of listening to really bouncy pop music when I’m on the subway en route to a date to lift my spirits.

    REDTred – I don’t think you need a rabbi per se to answer that question (though a learned one would answer the question better than I will now attempt to). Granted that there are shivim panim (70 faces) to Torah, I’ll do my best to explain based on my own learning: 18 was a recommended age to get married at a fairly specific time in Jewish society – especially taking into account when young men were already apprenticed and had a career going for them by that age. The Gemara in Kiddushin gives several other ages, including 20, 22, and 24 (I think, I can’t find the referencial daf at the moment), which are recommended times for a father to marry off his son (while the son will still listen to him). Practically speaking, since all of these are Aggadah and not Halacha-based discussions, the fact that the ages presented aren’t as applicable nowadays as they were back then isn’t necessarily an issue of violating an obligation.

    The funny/disturbing part of that Gemara says that until a guy reaches the age of 20 (I think) HaShem says in anticipation: “When is he getting married already?” and after he reaches that age and isn’t married, HaShem says “May his bones rot!” (more learned/those with better memories please feel free to correct me). Though I am a few years older than that (and will have a birthday in the near future) my bones haven’t been giving me trouble yet (bli ayin hara).

  30. Don’t worry, he out there somewhere, even if he doesn’t call you by your first name or even have your “resume” yet :) Just keep smiling, if not for them then certainly for you. You deserve that one boy who is special enough to deserve you.

  31. Marriage Newbee – The whole point is that he should NOT be a puzzle piece. Sometimes we make that mistake in our lives, not even realizing we’re doing exactly that. I’m not exactly sure if you realize you’re not actually arguing with me (rich was not the poster of my post).

  32. I have to disagree with you, Flipping.

    Better to be on a bus where the driver is held to a reasonable degree of safety and conduct. There are too many guys who scare their dates with apparently reckless driving. No girl wants to be afraid she may not make it out of a car being driven by someone who is almost a perfect stranger.

    Some of these guys actually think they are impressing their dates. A lesson to male readers: Think again…

  33. Ldrunk, have you ever been on an Israeli bus? Its not exactly smooth sailing…. I’m pretty sure Israeli’s do not have “reasonable degree of safety and conduct” in their vocabulary.

  34. Pingback: Friday Repost: Jadedness « Bad for Shidduchim

  35. “She’s unique and therefore she will have to search a little more than someone more typical.”

    To tw, forgive me but that is not the smartest comment. Do you have Hashem’s rulebook where it says that all the clones get married first, leaving the special people to find their tortuous way by themselves? It was pointed out to me that converts nearly always get married straightaway, and (apologies to those who haven’t) but I have noticed that this seems to be the case – including the most “exotic” who all married “standard” ashkenazi guys off the bat. We don’t know Hashem’s accounting, so it is stupid to offer such reasoning as yours. Don’t worry dear, it’s only because you’re unique. Very comforting.

    As for being jaded, I haven’t given up on meeting someone but I have given up on going out (which is not the same thing at all). Of course Hashem can send me my dearly beloved at any moment of his choosing, but personally I don’t have any more emotional energy for the rigmarole known as shidduch dating. I just decided to focus on my life, and do things I had neglected because for the last ten years I honestly believed that I was about to get married at any moment. And I must say that I am much happier for it. I hope that you won’t get to this stage, (the top of the mountain maybe) and at your tender age it may be hard, almost impossible to believe, but it actually gets easier. Much easier.

    The question is how much of the misery of being single comes from wishing to be married with all that that entails when one is not, and how much from the tedium of the actual dating process and societal pressure?

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